Many adults consider SpongeBob SquarePants to be the bane of their parenting existence, but one teenager used the show as a force for good. Autistic teen Brandon Williams saved the life of a classmate after watching an episode featuring the Heimlich maneuver. The 13-year-old boy noticed a classmate, Jessica Pellegrino, choking on a piece of apple during lunchtime at their special needs class at Barnes Intermediate School in Great Kills, Staten Island. Brandon did what any good egg would do — he hauled Jessica to her feet and then Heimlich-ed away. His efforts did not go to waste, and Jessica was quickly relieved from the obstruction blocking her airway.
Speaking with a Staten Island news station, Brandon calmly explained to his father, Anthony, how he “learned it on SpongeBob.” Anthony told the station that he’s not surprised at his son’s actions:
“He picks up on things that most of us would miss, and files it all away in his head, and he can recall it all in an instant. That’s how he knew instantly what to do. And we’re glad he did. We’re proud of him.”
His father should be terribly proud, indeed. A paraprofessional at the school, Brian Griffin, says he observed the scene from across the cafeteria and was ready to jump into action, but Brandon was already on the case. Griffin raved, “He was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it.” After the near-tragedy, the class threw a little celebratory shindig for Brandon, who says he’s just happy to help: “I don’t need a medal. I’m good; I’m good.”
Let this kiddo watch SpongeBob all day long!